Phil Goff sent Chris Carter home, hoping he would come back to Parliament contrite for his spending. But as the SST reports, he is anything but:
Goff said Carter, MP for Te Atatu, had failed to express contrition and forced him to apologise unreservedly. …
Carter said: “We could argue the rights and wrongs of whether I’ve done anything wrong. The only personal items were two bunches of flowers that a staff member sent on their card, and all ministerial travel was signed off.”
Once again, he is arguing he did nothing wrong. Also overlooks the flowers were to his own partner.
He said the apology was given “because you have to think about what is good for the Labour Party”.
In other words, he didn’t mean it. He did it to help Labour, not because he accepts any errors of judgement.
Carter was embarrassed again last week when it was revealed he promised exclusive interviews to both TV3 and TV One. “I guess I just wanted to be nice. It’s called PR, that’s what politicians do.”
No, there is another word for that, one you can’t use in the House.
So last week Carter was at least pretending to be contrite. Now he has emerged to talk to the media and once again declare he has done nothing wrong and only apologised to help Labour. So who is advising him?
Chris Carter last night broke his silence, saying he was returning to parliament, having taken advice from the party’s former head, Helen Clark.
This really makes Goff look a man not in charge of his own party.
Matt McCarten writes in the HoS:
But Carter’s meltdown this week surely finishes him. It’s not the card misuse that will kill him, it’s his clear inability to admit he’s done anything wrong.
As we see above.
His tiresome claim that he was being targeted because he was gay was absurd when of the four Labour MPs Phil Goff promoted, three were gay.
They were promoted on merit – their sexuality had nothing to do with it.
Carter’s actions this week was politically unforgivable. Goff had his perfect story.
The errant credit card behaviour was under Helen Clark’s watch, not his. It was a golden opportunity for Goff to act tough; discipline the three transgressors and stamp his authority on his caucus. …
But Carter’s actions completely destroyed Goff’s strategy. Understandably Goff hit the roof and banished Carter to home detention to reflect on his indulgence. But the damage was done.
Instead of Goff looking like a leader in charge and his party being able to move on from the scandal we have a party still being rocked by their own indiscipline.
Will Goff now demote Carter to the backbenches? Surely after the SST story, he has no choice? Or is Clark still protecting Carter from afar?Tags: Chris Carter, Helen Clark, Labour, Matt McCarten, MPs expenses, Phil Goff